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French Court Levies Fine Against Valentino Group

A Parisian court has slapped a fine on Valentino Fashion Group's Marlboro Classics clothing brand for "illicit indirect advertising" to promote smoking.

PARIS — A week after smoking was banned in French cafes and restaurants, a Parisian court has slapped a 60,000 euro, or $88,000, fine on Valentino Fashion Group’s Marlboro Classics clothing brand for "illicit indirect advertising” to promote lighting up. French law forbids advertising tobacco products.

The decision by the 13th chamber of Paris’s court of appeals upheld an earlier decision that Marlboro Classics indirectly promoted the use of tobacco with clothes carrying its label. Francis Cabellero, the lawyer arguing the case against Valentino FG for the French National Committee Against Tobacco, said he would bring a similar case against Paris department stores Printemps and Galeries Lafayette for selling Marlboro Classics in their stores.

“Our aim is to see the brand disappear in France,” he said. It was not the first court decision against Marlboro Classics in France. A court fined the company several years back after ruling that its stores indirectly promoted smoking.

Valentino Fashion Group could not be reached for comment.